“Are you Joaquin or River?” By Julia on the 2

Saturday February 9, 2019
6:29pm
5 minutes
From a voicemail message

Hey River,

I miss you. I’ll start by saying that. I’m listening to an old tape of you snoring. I used to hate you for it when we shared a room. Recorded you one night to show you just how loud it was. Now all I’m wishing for is to hear you breathe again. I wouldn’t care if it kept me up this time.
I’ve been thinking about you lately. Someone asked how I was doing as if it hasn’t been a lifetime since you left. I fucking miss you every day. Maybe I should have said that. I said, Things are good for me. And they are, you know, most days. I’m working so much you’d be real proud. Wish you could see how much better my chops are now.
Anyway, I know you’re with me so I’m not here to whine. Send me a rumble when you think of it.

Love, Joaquin.

“Are you Joaquin or River?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 9, 2019
2:16pm
5 minutes
From a voicemail message

It’s a call to arms
the sound of three thousand
trumpets at dawn
waking the birds even
waking the sky

a war cry and

I’m nothing
in the face of this strength

I’m quaking in my combat boots
shaking in my conviction
or maybe that’s fear

Sand in my eyes
wonder in my belly
This is not what
my father said it
would be

Came home flag draped
and empty my mother
spoke his name only
in whispers until
she draped herself too

saying she can’t lose
another